Mel Pardue is an infamous knifemaker who began the craft of handmaking knives in 1957. Mel is a master knife maker as he makes his own damascus by hand. He is the designer and director for many of the Benchmade Knife Company's most popular models. He has been known to teach college courses in knifemaking as well. Mel Pardue and his son, Joe, currently run Pardue Knives as a joint venture.